With a much improved right leg, I was able to get down to the basement shack quite easily for the Hoot Owl Shoot Out this past Sunday evening. It was nice to get on the air after being absent for quite a while. I made seven contacts in the allotted hour, two with good ol' reliable Don W2JEK on both 40 and 80 Meters.
The QSO with Don on 80 was the only one had there. The rest were all accomplished on 40 Meters. I heard some very faint signals on 20 Meters at the very beginning of the event, but nothing that was copyable.
Given the crummy band conditions and the fact that we're in the armpit of the solar cycle, one hour was probably plenty for the shootout. But I wish there had been another hour. Even though there was a lot of calling CQ between sparse replies, I still had a ton of fun.
When you're away from the hobby for a while due to circumstances that are kind of beyond your control, it's a blast when you can finally get back into it. We (it would probably better to say "I") take Amateur Radio for granted, knowing that we can go to our shacks at just about any time and jump on the air. When you can't for one reason or another, it's like that line from that song from the 60's - "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got 'till it's gone?"
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!